|"Overall, this is more than passable, but still lacking compared to its younger brethren."|
Norbu Tea mentions that the dry scent of the leaves have a very forest-like scent. Personally, I thought it was similar to lichen or just-picked spinach. I didn't find it all that appetizing. Sure, tea is a plant, but I don't run into many that invoke feelings of vegetables. The leaves themselves looked like other maocha I've tried - curly, earthy green, and somewhat old. I was dreading the brew-up, honestly.
Brewing instructions weren't on the Norbu site for this. For the other maocha, I went with a western pu-erh approach - a steep of four-minutes-thirty with boiling water. Since the scent of this was vegetal and a tad off-putting, I lowered that to four minutes. I prepped 1 teaspoon in my trustee hand-me-down gaiwan and infused for four minutes in boiled water.
The liquor brewed to an even (if pale) amber; quite a lot darker than the others of its unfinished fraternity. The nose actually turned out rather pleasant after all, mimicking a shou pu-erh at least five years past its age. The taste was dusty and earthy on the forefront, mildly fruity in the middle, and ended with a smoky finish giving it an oolong-like character. As far as maocha goes, I would probably prefer the recent harvests over older ones. If it's going to be aged, might as well just make it a pu-erh then. The gaiwan prep didn't do it any favors either. With the leaves still present, a vegetal character surfaced by sip five. Overall, this is more than passable, but still lacking compared to its younger brethren. Still, it was a pleasure to sip.
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